Noliko celebrates 200th game in European Cups with straight victory over Olympiacos
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men
Maaseik, Belgium, December 3, 2013. Noliko MAASEIK found the right way to celebrate their 200th game in the European Cups as on Tuesday they downed Olympiacos PIRAEUS in straight sets (25-18, 31-29, and 25-18) to claim their second victory in Pool B and stay in contention for a spot in the Playoffs 12 of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men. The match was attended by 2,150 fans who contributed a great ambiance for the home heroes.
The pressure on the shoulders of all players was huge as the result of this game was heavily going to impact on their chances to make the Playoffs. After a close start (5:5), Federico Pereyra and Kristof Hoho (pictured, #3) gradually widened the lead for the home side (9:5, 12:6, 19:12) and Noliko had a very comfortable margin while approaching the finish line (21:14) to win the first set 25-18.
Things got more complicated in the second set where Olympiacos was off to a good start (2:4, 4:6) before Noliko fought their way back to flip the charts around (8:7, 11:9). Olympiacos responded by getting back the lead (12:14, 14:16) but once more Noliko clawed back. Olympiacos got a couple of set balls (22:24) but they could not wrap it up and it was Pereyra who cashed the final 31-29 for Noliko with an ace.
Noliko dictated the pace of the game right from the start of the third set (7:5, 14:10) and showed a superb performance to make it 19:13 and 22:15 before their many fans could celebrate a deserved 3:0 victory (25-18). With this result Noliko recovered from a poor start of the season and is still well in contention for a spot in the Playoffs 12. Federico Pereyra and Kristof Hoho paced the home side in their winning effort with 13 and 12 points respectively while Boyan Yordanov registered 15 for the guests from Greece.
“I am delighted with this straight victory. We played well from the start up to the end of the game. We pressured our opponent with good serves and Olympiacos did not find a way to stand that” said Noliko mentor Erik Verstraten.
“We had a terrible game tonight and possibly this is due to the injury of our setter Vasileios Kournetas” commented Olympiacos assistant coach Georgios Mylonakis. “We were also surprised by the way that Noliko pressured us with their serve. They played at a very high level tonight.”
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